PENANG, Apr 26 (Sin Chew Daily) -- A 99-year-old grandmother raised RM160,000 with her hand-made flowers to celebrate her birthday.
Her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren contributed and turned to social media to help raise the sum in two weeks for charity.
Liang Mei Lan, 99, has five daughters and six sons. Her fourth son is Datuk Seri Chia Kwang Chye, former deputy information minister and Gerakan secretary-general.
Liang has a total of 26 grandchildren and 17 great grandchildren. They are living in different parts of Malaysia, Singapore, China, US, New Zealand and UK.
The donation raised would be channeled to BOLD For Special Needs Children, a non-profit organization for children with special needs in Penang.
The organization faces financial problems a year after the COVID-19 pandemic.
BOLD For Special Needs Children needs RM400,000 a year to operate and has started to launch a donation drive to raise RM99,000.
Donors would receive flowers made by Liang for their donations.
Liang's youngest daughter Chia Kien Eng, a language therapist, is a committee member of BOLD For Special Needs Children. She proposed suggested that Liang make paper flowers to help raise fund for the organization.
Liang lives in Kota Tinggi but visits her children in Singapore, Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
Five years ago, she raised RM5,000 for Kasih Hospice Foundation in Petaling Jaya by making paper flowers in a charity sale while visiting her child in Kuala Lumpur.
It was her first attempt to help a charitable organization with her hand-made flowers.
Liang did it again for Lion's Resource and Education for Autistic Children Center in Penang to raise RM53,000 four years ago.
She agreed to Kien Eng's suggestion to raise fund for the organization with her hand-made flowers while visiting her in Penang.
Liang stayed at home most of the time due to the pandemic and had plenty of time to make the flowers.
She presented a bouquet of 99 red roses made of papers for a grandson's wedding four years ago.
"I am worry-free when I make the flowers," she said.
Liang also made flowers for her daughters.
Kien Eng said she felt good whenever she looked at the paper flowers made by her mother which she displayed at her office.
Born in Jemaluang, Johor, Liang studied at Nanyang Girls' High School in Singapore when the Marco Polo Bridge incident, also known as Lugou Bridge incident, took place in 1937, marking the start of the Sino-Japanese war.
Her school raised fund to help China fight against the Japanese by selling hand-made flowers.
At that was when Liang, 15 at that time, learned to make paper flowers.
To occupy her time, Liang started to make paper flowers again 30 years ago after her husband passed away.